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Devonta Freeman, RB (ATL)

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My initial post was in response to Freeman's draft position. There are more than those two that have been fantasy relevant despite their draft position. How about Morris? Ellington? Ridley?

Sure feels like a trend to me. :-D

A low percentage of late round running backs make the impact of those you mentioned.

How about if you consider a second variable - opportunity?

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Bad news: Not the starter. Jacquizz got a goal line TD with the first team offense.

Good news: 10 carries for 50 yards and a 4th quarter reception for 57 yards.

He appears to have earned more time.

I am surprised by how much stock people put into this type of thing...

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My initial post was in response to Freeman's draft position. There are more than those two that have been fantasy relevant despite their draft position. How about Morris? Ellington? Ridley?

Sure feels like a trend to me. :-D

A low percentage of late round running backs make the impact of those you mentioned.

How about if you consider a second variable - opportunity?

We've been through this already a few posts before.

For one thing, we can debate at length as to what kind of opportunity Freeman has in Atlanta. Most of the arguments I've heard in favor of his immediate situation are predicated on Jackson and Rodgers being junk, in addition to Freeman also not being junk. I'm not inclined to put a lot of faith in any of those three assumptions.

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My initial post was in response to Freeman's draft position. There are more than those two that have been fantasy relevant despite their draft position. How about Morris? Ellington? Ridley?

Sure feels like a trend to me. :-D

A low percentage of late round running backs make the impact of those you mentioned.

How about if you consider a second variable - opportunity?

We've been through this already a few posts before.

For one thing, we can debate at length as to what kind of opportunity Freeman has in Atlanta. Most of the arguments I've heard in favor of his immediate situation are predicated on Jackson and Rodgers being junk, in addition to Freeman also not being junk. I'm not inclined to put a lot of faith in any of those three assumptions.

A RB going into his 11th season... Jackson's age, mileage and injury history suggest he isn't a long term factor. Rogers has enough track record for us to know what he is - OK but not special. Plus, Rogers - although stocky - is on the small side. Freeman has a couple inches and 10 pounds on him. I don't play in any redraft leagues but, relatively speaking, there is little in front of Freeman and a chance at a starter's gig.

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A RB going into his 11th season... Jackson's age, mileage and injury history suggest he isn't a long term factor. Rogers has enough track record for us to know what he is - OK but not special. Plus, Rogers - although stocky - is on the small side. Freeman has a couple inches and 10 pounds on him. I don't play in any redraft leagues but, relatively speaking, there is little in front of Freeman and a chance at a starter's gig.

'So you're telling me there's a chance?'

Even if we assume Freeman wins the starting job, how much confidence do you have that he will display enough talent to prevent Atlanta from picking a better running back next year? It's fairly safe to say he will have decent competition at some point, even if you don't respect his teammates this season.

Edited by cloppbeast

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Seeing some rumbles on Twitter he was injured in practice tonight.

ETA: False alarm... Looks like it was heat...

http://www.kffl.com/gnews.php?id=920127-falcons-devonta-freeman-update&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Falcons | Devonta Freeman update

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (undisclosed) didn't have any protective gear on his body after practice Monday, Aug. 11, and initial reports are that the heat forced him to exit early.

Edited by werdnoynek

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Bad news: Not the starter. Jacquizz got a goal line TD with the first team offense.

Good news: 10 carries for 50 yards and a 4th quarter reception for 57 yards.

He appears to have earned more time.

I am surprised by how much stock people put into this type of thing...

It's an indication of how he's playing. I put a lot of stock to players that are playing well.

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A RB going into his 11th season... Jackson's age, mileage and injury history suggest he isn't a long term factor. Rogers has enough track record for us to know what he is - OK but not special. Plus, Rogers - although stocky - is on the small side. Freeman has a couple inches and 10 pounds on him. I don't play in any redraft leagues but, relatively speaking, there is little in front of Freeman and a chance at a starter's gig.

'So you're telling me there's a chance?'

Even if we assume Freeman wins the starting job, how much confidence do you have that he will display enough talent to prevent Atlanta from picking a better running back next year? It's fairly safe to say he will have decent competition at some point, even if you don't respect his teammates this season.

As is standard practice by most teams not having a guy who's on a short list of the league's top RBs...

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They could easily follow the Bengals strategy where they have an older slowing RB (BGE) and draft the small dynamic RB (Gio), then the next year compliment him with a larger RB (Hill).

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Not a bad comp. Both are 5'9" 209. Gio ran a 4.53, freeman a 4.56. But it was a surprise when Cincinnati took hill, especially as early as they did. And like gio, freeman does have a three down skill set. So maybe the other way to look at it is, if he does pan out, the upside is gio without hill.

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Not a bad comp. Both are 5'9" 209. Gio ran a 4.53, freeman a 4.56. But it was a surprise when Cincinnati took hill, especially as early as they did. And like gio, freeman does have a three down skill set. So maybe the other way to look at it is, if he does pan out, the upside is gio without hill.

Outside of wishful fantasy owners, it wasn't a surprise that Cinci drafted Hill at all. It wouldn't be a surprise if Atl does the same next year, either.

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Not a bad comp. Both are 5'9" 209. Gio ran a 4.53, freeman a 4.56. But it was a surprise when Cincinnati took hill, especially as early as they did. And like gio, freeman does have a three down skill set. So maybe the other way to look at it is, if he does pan out, the upside is gio without hill.

Outside of wishful fantasy owners, it wasn't a surprise that Cinci drafted Hill at all. It wouldn't be a surprise if Atl does the same next year, either.
Of course it was. They had always favored a two back approach, and had said as much before drafting gio. I know bjge hadn't been the ideal back for them, but a second round pick was considered pretty early for a complement after nailing the gio pick a year prior. A lot of teams go with a starter/backup mix, and it seed reasonable that gio had overtaken law firm as the starter but that they would either remain a one two punch or that they would draft a guy later to compete for the big rb role. But Cincinnati seems to want two good guys with distinct roles and they got them.

So far, Atlanta hasn't tried to do that. They let turner play the lead role for years even though he had a limited three down skill set. They acquired sjax and Jacquizz but they never made it seem like they were a true committee. So there's potential for Atlanta to stick with freeman and not spend much on a backup or a complementary guy next year.

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Not a bad comp. Both are 5'9" 209. Gio ran a 4.53, freeman a 4.56. But it was a surprise when Cincinnati took hill, especially as early as they did. And like gio, freeman does have a three down skill set. So maybe the other way to look at it is, if he does pan out, the upside is gio without hill.

Outside of wishful fantasy owners, it wasn't a surprise that Cinci drafted Hill at all. It wouldn't be a surprise if Atl does the same next year, either.
Of course it was. They had always favored a two back approach, and had said as much before drafting gio. I know bjge hadn't been the ideal back for them, but a second round pick was considered pretty early for a complement after nailing the gio pick a year prior. A lot of teams go with a starter/backup mix, and it seed reasonable that gio had overtaken law firm as the starter but that they would either remain a one two punch or that they would draft a guy later to compete for the big rb role. But Cincinnati seems to want two good guys with distinct roles and they got them.

So far, Atlanta hasn't tried to do that. They let turner play the lead role for years even though he had a limited three down skill set. They acquired sjax and Jacquizz but they never made it seem like they were a true committee. So there's potential for Atlanta to stick with freeman and not spend much on a backup or a complementary guy next year.

Based on what you just said how is it a surprise Cinci drafted Hill? They have shown to like using 2 RBs. They had a need at RB. BJGE was one of the least effective RBs in the NFL last year and they continued to feed him the ball. Like you said, Cinci likes a 2 RB system. So, they drafted the best RB and top player on their board. The thought that Gio would take over as a bellcow was nothing more than fantasy speculation and wishful thinking. It's also pure speculation that Hill can't take over the lead role.

As for Freeman, it's just not likely that he's going to be good enough to warrant a bellcow role. I know, I know, but the coaches say he's a 3 down back... Coaches say a lot of things. Let's see it. Perhaps Atl has run guys like Turner and Jackson so much because they are/were so good. RBBC isn't simply a factor of coaching philosophy, sometimes it can be a function of not having a guy capable of the job alone. I don't nessecarily think Atl will draft a commitee guy to compliment Freeman. I think it's possible depending on what happens this year. I think it's more likely they draft a guy to replace Jackson and leave Freeman in a Rodgers type role.

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So far, Atlanta hasn't tried to do that. They let turner play the lead role for years even though he had a limited three down skill set. They acquired sjax and Jacquizz but they never made it seem like they were a true committee. So there's potential for Atlanta to stick with freeman and not spend much on a backup or a complementary guy next year.

Considering the free agents available next season and the running backs in the 2015 draft, I give a less than 5% chance that the Falcons go into next season with Freeman as their most heralded running back.

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So far, Atlanta hasn't tried to do that. They let turner play the lead role for years even though he had a limited three down skill set. They acquired sjax and Jacquizz but they never made it seem like they were a true committee. So there's potential for Atlanta to stick with freeman and not spend much on a backup or a complementary guy next year.

Considering the free agents available next season and the running backs in the 2015 draft, I give a less than 5% chance that the Falcons go into next season with Freeman as their most heralded running back.

So you're saying there is a chance....

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A RB going into his 11th season... Jackson's age, mileage and injury history suggest he isn't a long term factor. Rogers has enough track record for us to know what he is - OK but not special. Plus, Rogers - although stocky - is on the small side. Freeman has a couple inches and 10 pounds on him. I don't play in any redraft leagues but, relatively speaking, there is little in front of Freeman and a chance at a starter's gig.

'So you're telling me there's a chance?'

Even if we assume Freeman wins the starting job, how much confidence do you have that he will display enough talent to prevent Atlanta from picking a better running back next year? It's fairly safe to say he will have decent competition at some point, even if you don't respect his teammates this season.

As is standard practice by most teams not having a guy who's on a short list of the league's top RBs...

Sort of my whole point, I guess. There's no reason upgrading a RB because of his present situation, especially if said player has pedestrian talent.

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It seems like your whole thesis is "he's not that good, and the proof is that he got taken in the fourth round". And my whole thesis is "we have no idea how good he is, but he's valuable because he's got a three down skillset, the team has talked very highly of him, and he has a direct path to a possible starting job so he will have an opportunity to earn as much of a role as he's capable of".

You've got 23 posts in this thread and a few about Freeman in other threads, too, and almost all of them say some variation of "players taken in the fourth round aren't good", or "he's not good, and players who aren't good don't win the job", or "he's not good, so even if he earns the job, he won't be good", or even "he's not good, so even if he earns the job and does well with it the team will definitely draft someone better next year". You seem too passionate about the topic for his draft selection to be the only reason you dislike him. I'm not sure I understand where your certainty in his lack of talent is coming from or why you're the leading poster in a thread about a player you certainly don't seem interested in drafting. Can you help me understand this better?

For what it's worth, I do own Freeman in one dynasty league, and I was also a leading poster in the Jeremy Hill thread, where I advocated taking Freeman over Hill and reiterated my thesis which was basically "i don't know how talented he is, but it doesn't really matter, because he's stuck in a rbbc with a good player so he'll never be a guy you're excited to start every week". But a big part of that is that I've taken a different approach to drafting over the last several years, eschewing the "safe" picks I used to favor and shooting for players with higher upside and higher risk and an easy exit plan to trade or cut them so I can churn my roster and keep adding talent. I still have some risk bias, but it's changed, and I find it helpful to discuss it with people in different threads to flesh out my thoughts on the topic. I'm curious what your reason is for being so vocal about Freeman here.

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It seems like your whole thesis is "he's not that good, and the proof is that he got taken in the fourth round". And my whole thesis is "we have no idea how good he is, but he's valuable because he's got a three down skillset, the team has talked very highly of him, and he has a direct path to a possible starting job so he will have an opportunity to earn as much of a role as he's capable of".

You've got 23 posts in this thread and a few about Freeman in other threads, too, and almost all of them say some variation of "players taken in the fourth round aren't good", or "he's not good, and players who aren't good don't win the job", or "he's not good, so even if he earns the job, he won't be good", or even "he's not good, so even if he earns the job and does well with it the team will definitely draft someone better next year". You seem too passionate about the topic for his draft selection to be the only reason you dislike him. I'm not sure I understand where your certainty in his lack of talent is coming from or why you're the leading poster in a thread about a player you certainly don't seem interested in drafting. Can you help me understand this better?

My argument is not against 4th rounders in general; it's against taking one in the late first round of rookie drafts. I would have little problem with Freeman in the 3rd/4th round of rookie drafts. At such a point in your rookie draft, you're pretty much hoping as it is.

Fourth round picks come in different varieties. Some have high upside, but have high risk, others fill out a roster. Freeman serves as the standard depth selection as he wasn't even an amazing player at FSU. A solid player in college will at best make a solid player in the NFL.

Edited by cloppbeast

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My argument is not against 4th rounders in general; it's against taking one in the late first round of rookie drafts. I would have little problem with Freeman in the 3rd/4th round of rookie drafts. At such a point in your rookie draft, you're pretty much hoping as it is.

I think that's a reasonable stance. I just think you and jurb and a few others are overstating the importance of running back talent. I don't care how much "talent" a running back has as long as he has opportunity. Because for the most part, I don't think anyone on this board is a good enough judge of talent to really distinguish between two backs who are 5'9", 209 lbs and run a 4.5 40. Yet Gio is considered an elite talent, and Freeman is considered pedestrian.

Headed into last year, Ben Tate and Bernard Pierce were drafted early in redrafts and expensive in dynasty. By the time they got an opportunity, they sucked. But while the overwhelming consensus was that both were more talented than Rashad Jennings, it was Jennings who was a top ten running back the second half of the season, and it was Jennings who parlayed that into a starting job. Pierce? Still the backup behind a guy who sucked last year and got suspended. Tate? Signed a mid priced free agent deal and may be back in another committee if he's not careful.

If you drafted these guys solely based on your perception of their talent, or based only on their second round draft status, you'd have wasted your picks every bit as much as if you drafted a less talented guy who didn't pan out. There are plenty of examples of untalented backs sucking. There are plenty of examples of talented backs sucking. But there are no examples of talented backs or untalented backs excelling without opportunity. And running backs are so scarce that any young running back with an opportunity has significant value.

Fourth round picks come in different varieties. Some have high upside, but have high risk, others fill out a roster. Freeman serves as the standard depth selection as he wasn't even an amazing player at FSU. A solid player in college will at best make a solid player in the NFL.

Let me tell you the story of a player who attended the University of Texas. After starting two games and averaging over five yards per carry for the second straight season as a sophomore, Holmes received more significant playing time as a junior. He rushed for 524 yards and five touchdowns, and was named MVP of the Sun Bowl after rushing for 161 yards and four touchdowns in a win against North Carolina. Unfortunately, he missed the 1995 season with a knee injury, allowing for the emergence of a future Heisman Trophy winner as the starter. Relegated to third string, he scored thirteen touchdowns despite carrying the ball only 59 times. He rushed for a career total of 1276 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. That player was Priest Holmes

Freeman bettered those stats in every way. He was the lead back in his committee. He was first team all conference and helped his team win a title. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry (5.9 in each of his final two seasons) and finished with 30 rushing TDs. He had more yards and more touchdowns despite getting limited touches. Then again, James Wilder is no Ricky Williams. The truth is, we just don't know. But saying that his stats mean that he is solid "at best" isn't really accurate.

You acknowledge that some players are high upside. Why can't Freeman be one of them? If I had to pick a reason for a guy to slide to the fourth, the fact that he was in a crowded backfield in college isn't the worst reason. I'd much prefer that over a guy who just plain sucks at catching the football (Andre Williams) or can't run inside (Lache Seastrunk).

I also mentioned earlier why it's a little disingenuous to refer to him as a "fourth round pick" when he was one of the first selections on day three, and why the teams ahead of him may have been looking for specific types of players while Atlanta was mining for a backup with starter potential. Whether Freeman is good enough to be that starter remains to be seen, but Atlanta thought he was good enough that they took a talented but unproven player while teams around them took good but one dimensional players.

As far as I'm concerned, neither you nor I know how talented he is. We don't even know if he's going to get a shot to start. But he's got the clearest path to starting carries of any rookie back not named Hyde or Sankey, and the upside if he can become a true three down starter for Atlanta is enormous. He's certainly got bust risk, but he's an upside play, which is what most late first rounders are.

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My argument is not against 4th rounders in general; it's against taking one in the late first round of rookie drafts. I would have little problem with Freeman in the 3rd/4th round of rookie drafts. At such a point in your rookie draft, you're pretty much hoping as it is.

I think that's a reasonable stance. I just think you and jurb and a few others are overstating the importance of running back talent. I don't care how much "talent" a running back has as long as he has opportunity. Because for the most part, I don't think anyone on this board is a good enough judge of talent to really distinguish between two backs who are 5'9", 209 lbs and run a 4.5 40. Yet Gio is considered an elite talent, and Freeman is considered pedestrian.

Headed into last year, Ben Tate and Bernard Pierce were drafted early in redrafts and expensive in dynasty. By the time they got an opportunity, they sucked. But while the overwhelming consensus was that both were more talented than Rashad Jennings, it was Jennings who was a top ten running back the second half of the season, and it was Jennings who parlayed that into a starting job. Pierce? Still the backup behind a guy who sucked last year and got suspended. Tate? Signed a mid priced free agent deal and may be back in another committee if he's not careful.

If you drafted these guys solely based on your perception of their talent, or based only on their second round draft status, you'd have wasted your picks every bit as much as if you drafted a less talented guy who didn't pan out. There are plenty of examples of untalented backs sucking. There are plenty of examples of talented backs sucking. But there are no examples of talented backs or untalented backs excelling without opportunity. And running backs are so scarce that any young running back with an opportunity has significant value.

Fourth round picks come in different varieties. Some have high upside, but have high risk, others fill out a roster. Freeman serves as the standard depth selection as he wasn't even an amazing player at FSU. A solid player in college will at best make a solid player in the NFL.

Let me tell you the story of a player who attended the University of Texas. After starting two games and averaging over five yards per carry for the second straight season as a sophomore, Holmes received more significant playing time as a junior. He rushed for 524 yards and five touchdowns, and was named MVP of the Sun Bowl after rushing for 161 yards and four touchdowns in a win against North Carolina. Unfortunately, he missed the 1995 season with a knee injury, allowing for the emergence of a future Heisman Trophy winner as the starter. Relegated to third string, he scored thirteen touchdowns despite carrying the ball only 59 times. He rushed for a career total of 1276 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. That player was Priest Holmes

Freeman bettered those stats in every way. He was the lead back in his committee. He was first team all conference and helped his team win a title. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry (5.9 in each of his final two seasons) and finished with 30 rushing TDs. He had more yards and more touchdowns despite getting limited touches. Then again, James Wilder is no Ricky Williams. The truth is, we just don't know. But saying that his stats mean that he is solid "at best" isn't really accurate.

You acknowledge that some players are high upside. Why can't Freeman be one of them? If I had to pick a reason for a guy to slide to the fourth, the fact that he was in a crowded backfield in college isn't the worst reason. I'd much prefer that over a guy who just plain sucks at catching the football (Andre Williams) or can't run inside (Lache Seastrunk).

I also mentioned earlier why it's a little disingenuous to refer to him as a "fourth round pick" when he was one of the first selections on day three, and why the teams ahead of him may have been looking for specific types of players while Atlanta was mining for a backup with starter potential. Whether Freeman is good enough to be that starter remains to be seen, but Atlanta thought he was good enough that they took a talented but unproven player while teams around them took good but one dimensional players.

As far as I'm concerned, neither you nor I know how talented he is. We don't even know if he's going to get a shot to start. But he's got the clearest path to starting carries of any rookie back not named Hyde or Sankey, and the upside if he can become a true three down starter for Atlanta is enormous. He's certainly got bust risk, but he's an upside play, which is what most late first rounders are.

:goodposting:

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A solid player in college will at best make a solid player in the NFL.

Terrell Davis.

There are many other players who debunk your position, but his name jumped to the forefront when you made this statement.

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A solid player in college will at best make a solid player in the NFL.

Terrell Davis.

There are many other players who debunk your position, but his name jumped to the forefront when you made this statement.

I thought of John Randle.

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An elite player with a great work ethic and good but not great measurables who slipped to the later rounds because he was in a timeshare with a good but not great player? If we are going with non running backs, i think Tom Brady is still the gold standard.

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My argument is not against 4th rounders in general; it's against taking one in the late first round of rookie drafts. I would have little problem with Freeman in the 3rd/4th round of rookie drafts. At such a point in your rookie draft, you're pretty much hoping as it is.

I think that's a reasonable stance. I just think you and jurb and a few others are overstating the importance of running back talent. I don't care how much "talent" a running back has as long as he has opportunity. Because for the most part, I don't think anyone on this board is a good enough judge of talent to really distinguish between two backs who are 5'9", 209 lbs and run a 4.5 40. Yet Gio is considered an elite talent, and Freeman is considered pedestrian.Headed into last year, Ben Tate and Bernard Pierce were drafted early in redrafts and expensive in dynasty. By the time they got an opportunity, they sucked. But while the overwhelming consensus was that both were more talented than Rashad Jennings, it was Jennings who was a top ten running back the second half of the season, and it was Jennings who parlayed that into a starting job. Pierce? Still the backup behind a guy who sucked last year and got suspended. Tate? Signed a mid priced free agent deal and may be back in another committee if he's not careful.If you drafted these guys solely based on your perception of their talent, or based only on their second round draft status, you'd have wasted your picks every bit as much as if you drafted a less talented guy who didn't pan out. There are plenty of examples of untalented backs sucking. There are plenty of examples of talented backs sucking. But there are no examples of talented backs or untalented backs excelling without opportunity. And running backs are so scarce that any young running back with an opportunity has significant value.

Fourth round picks come in different varieties. Some have high upside, but have high risk, others fill out a roster. Freeman serves as the standard depth selection as he wasn't even an amazing player at FSU. A solid player in college will at best make a solid player in the NFL.

Let me tell you the story of a player who attended the University of Texas. After starting two games and averaging over five yards per carry for the second straight season as a sophomore, Holmes received more significant playing time as a junior. He rushed for 524 yards and five touchdowns, and was named MVP of the Sun Bowl after rushing for 161 yards and four touchdowns in a win against North Carolina. Unfortunately, he missed the 1995 season with a knee injury, allowing for the emergence of a future Heisman Trophy winner as the starter. Relegated to third string, he scored thirteen touchdowns despite carrying the ball only 59 times. He rushed for a career total of 1276 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. That player was Priest HolmesFreeman bettered those stats in every way. He was the lead back in his committee. He was first team all conference and helped his team win a title. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry (5.9 in each of his final two seasons) and finished with 30 rushing TDs. He had more yards and more touchdowns despite getting limited touches. Then again, James Wilder is no Ricky Williams. The truth is, we just don't know. But saying that his stats mean that he is solid "at best" isn't really accurate.You acknowledge that some players are high upside. Why can't Freeman be one of them? If I had to pick a reason for a guy to slide to the fourth, the fact that he was in a crowded backfield in college isn't the worst reason. I'd much prefer that over a guy who just plain sucks at catching the football (Andre Williams) or can't run inside (Lache Seastrunk).I also mentioned earlier why it's a little disingenuous to refer to him as a "fourth round pick" when he was one of the first selections on day three, and why the teams ahead of him may have been looking for specific types of players while Atlanta was mining for a backup with starter potential. Whether Freeman is good enough to be that starter remains to be seen, but Atlanta thought he was good enough that they took a talented but unproven player while teams around them took good but one dimensional players.As far as I'm concerned, neither you nor I know how talented he is. We don't even know if he's going to get a shot to start. But he's got the clearest path to starting carries of any rookie back not named Hyde or Sankey, and the upside if he can become a true three down starter for Atlanta is enormous. He's certainly got bust risk, but he's an upside play, which is what most late first rounders are.
Talent is important because generally speaking talent will garner players opportunity in the NFL. As the saying goes, the cream rises to the top. So having talented players is generally the more sound play than having guys with opportunity when concsidering the long haul. In dynasty talent is a great deal more important than redraft. Redraft is largely about immediate opportunity. It's kind of funny that you say you don't think anyone here is good enough at talent evaluation to see the difference between 2 guys 5'9" 209 with 4.5 40s. I'm all for using your own judgement when it comes to gagging talent but there are certainly people around here who are worth listening to and present solid arguments regarding the subject. Regardless of that, the simple fact is 1 of those guys was drafted 2 full rounds above the other. There is no need what so ever to rely on message board scouts here. There is the plan fact that the NFLs evaluation process of rookies gaged their ability at pretty differing levels. Real teams making real investments thought Gio was the better player and rather significantly. Do you not value their opinion on it either? Ahh, and when exactly did Gio become elite? Who's arguing that?

Your twisting of the Tate/Peirce/Jennings situations is pretty comical. How exactly is Jennings parlay his situation into a starting job that is any better than Tate? Jennings is by no means out of the woods from a RBBC himself with Williams. Oh and BTW Williams was picked nearly the same exact time as Freeman was yet somehow you don't seem to be touting his ultra high opportunity or talent. Jennings is 29 and the door will be closing on him soon. It also required the retirement of Wilson to clear the backfield and that was a rare and completely unexpected turn of events. This is a cherry picked example that doesn't even work to sell the argument IMO. Jennings is a 29 YO RB with career total of 1678 yds and 13 TDs but because he lucked out and amasses a top 10 stretch at some point you are latching on photo him as a beacon of light? If you had gambled on Jennings at the same point you are suggesting you do for Freeman, his rookie year. You would have lost and lost rather big.

Why are you talking about college stats so much here? What does that have to do with future success in the NFL? So you are comparing Freeman with Holmes based on their college numbers? Why aren't you comparing him with his peers, if anything? I assume this is only being done to illustrate that diamonds in the rough do in fact exist. Well, yeah we all know that. That doesn't make them more likely or easier to find. Every time there is a debate about later round draft picks this Holmes defense seems to emerge. As if it excuses the very rarity for which things like that happen. What's the success rate of 4th rounders in the NFL? What's the success rate of 4th round or later RBs? What's that rate compared to 1st or 2nd rounders. The truth of the matter is it's less likely a guy in the 4 round will pan out than it is a guy in the 2nd round. NFL teams are pretty good at this, albeit not nearly perfect. On the aggregate however they do pretty well.

Freeman has upside and I don't see anyone debating that. It's not difficult for him to have it because currently he has very little opportunity. Things could change that and give him opportunity and thus, upside. Being in a crowded backfield in college is not a valid reason for draft prospects to slide, BTW. Recall R. Brown and C. Williams, DMAC and F. Jones or the slew of Bama RBs to get picked high recently. Talent gets you drafted highly or at least the perceived talent you posses. You don't have to be a lead bellcow to display that but you do have to at least contribute so that your ability is on display.

It's nice of you to tell us all what these teams were specifically looking for as if you were in the war rooms of them but none of that is anything more than your speculation. It isn't the least bit disingenuous to call Freeman a 4th round pick. It's a FACT. He was drafted in the 4th round. It's disingenuous to present these speculators reasons for why you think he was drafted in the 4th round as fact.

Of course he's an "upside play." He's got virtually no where to go but up from his current position. Quite frankly, I'm getting a bit tired of the upside argument. All back ups and players have "upside" because they aren't even seeing the field. When you say upside what it really means in this case is that he has limited to no opportunity now and you hope/think he will in the future. Some how that feels like better upside than a guy like J. Hill because the rise, if attained, will be greater. That does not mean the return will be greater, though. Freeman has a much longer way to go to realize this upside and like other guys, Crowell or Lyera, his upside is being overstated.

Edited by jurb26

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Jurb, I responded specifically to a post from clop. That's why I quoted him. You can see it above. Clop said that solid college players are "at best" solid nfl players. While it may be intuitive to you and me that this isn't true, showing counter examples is the simplest way to rebut a blanket statement.

I agree with you that most late round picks don't become priest holmes. But there is another reason for bringing it up, which is that part of the reason Holmes, freeman and other successful later round picks may have slipped in the draft was that they played in committee back fields in college.

The draft process is efficient, but it has blind spots. Look at Marcus lattimore. Fourth round running back. First round talent. Gruesome injury. His draft slot wasnt an indication of his talent. It was an indication of the risk that a team was willing to take to acquire him when it might take a year or longer for him to play, and he might never play at the same level again.

Some teams don't want to take that risk. A rebuilding team might. Or a team with an aging running back looking for a replacement they can groom behind him.

The same is true with dri archer. At 5'8", 173 lbs, it seems unlikely he was drafted to be a lead back. But he was taken ahead of freeman because he was a quality role player and filled a need for the steelers.

None of that means that freeman is a second round talent. But there is reason to suspect he may be better than the "average" fourth round pick, because he was one of the very first day three picks, and he played in a committee backfield, and he plays a different style than some of the guys taken ahead of him. And that is meaningful when deciding how important his fourth round selection is to you as an owner. Obviously it's pretty important to you, and not as important to me.

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I think that's a reasonable stance. I just think you and jurb and a few others are overstating the importance of running back talent. I don't care how much "talent" a running back has as long as he has opportunity. Because for the most part, I don't think anyone on this board is a good enough judge of talent to really distinguish between two backs who are 5'9", 209 lbs and run a 4.5 40. Yet Gio is considered an elite talent, and Freeman is considered pedestrian.

Headed into last year, Ben Tate and Bernard Pierce were drafted early in redrafts and expensive in dynasty. By the time they got an opportunity, they sucked. But while the overwhelming consensus was that both were more talented than Rashad Jennings, it was Jennings who was a top ten running back the second half of the season, and it was Jennings who parlayed that into a starting job. Pierce? Still the backup behind a guy who sucked last year and got suspended. Tate? Signed a mid priced free agent deal and may be back in another committee if he's not careful.

If you drafted these guys solely based on your perception of their talent, or based only on their second round draft status, you'd have wasted your picks every bit as much as if you drafted a less talented guy who didn't pan out. There are plenty of examples of untalented backs sucking. There are plenty of examples of talented backs sucking. But there are no examples of talented backs or untalented backs excelling without opportunity. And running backs are so scarce that any young running back with an opportunity has significant value.

Fourth round picks come in different varieties. Some have high upside, but have high risk, others fill out a roster. Freeman serves as the standard depth selection as he wasn't even an amazing player at FSU. A solid player in college will at best make a solid player in the NFL.

Let me tell you the story of a player who attended the University of Texas. After starting two games and averaging over five yards per carry for the second straight season as a sophomore, Holmes received more significant playing time as a junior. He rushed for 524 yards and five touchdowns, and was named MVP of the Sun Bowl after rushing for 161 yards and four touchdowns in a win against North Carolina. Unfortunately, he missed the 1995 season with a knee injury, allowing for the emergence of a future Heisman Trophy winner as the starter. Relegated to third string, he scored thirteen touchdowns despite carrying the ball only 59 times. He rushed for a career total of 1276 yards and 20 touchdowns, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. That player was Priest Holmes

Freeman bettered those stats in every way. He was the lead back in his committee. He was first team all conference and helped his team win a title. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry (5.9 in each of his final two seasons) and finished with 30 rushing TDs. He had more yards and more touchdowns despite getting limited touches. Then again, James Wilder is no Ricky Williams. The truth is, we just don't know. But saying that his stats mean that he is solid "at best" isn't really accurate.

You acknowledge that some players are high upside. Why can't Freeman be one of them? If I had to pick a reason for a guy to slide to the fourth, the fact that he was in a crowded backfield in college isn't the worst reason. I'd much prefer that over a guy who just plain sucks at catching the football (Andre Williams) or can't run inside (Lache Seastrunk).

I also mentioned earlier why it's a little disingenuous to refer to him as a "fourth round pick" when he was one of the first selections on day three, and why the teams ahead of him may have been looking for specific types of players while Atlanta was mining for a backup with starter potential. Whether Freeman is good enough to be that starter remains to be seen, but Atlanta thought he was good enough that they took a talented but unproven player while teams around them took good but one dimensional players.

As far as I'm concerned, neither you nor I know how talented he is. We don't even know if he's going to get a shot to start. But he's got the clearest path to starting carries of any rookie back not named Hyde or Sankey, and the upside if he can become a true three down starter for Atlanta is enormous. He's certainly got bust risk, but he's an upside play, which is what most late first rounders are.

It's not nearly as disingenuous as trying to compare Gio to Freeman based on height/weight and 40 times. You conveniently left out how Gio outperformed him on every other drill, was the 1st RB drafted in the early 2nd round while Freeman was the 9th RB drafted in the early 4th round, and Gio put up very impressive numbers in college while Freeman was meh. You're right, none of us can be sure how talented he is, but the NFL certainly thinks he isn't on the same level as Gio. Of course, that doesn't mean they got it right, but it isn't just a couple of guys on the internet saying so.

You're also way overstating "opportunity" IMO. Talent will create opportunity most times, and if you aren't very talented your opportunity isn't going to last long. This doesn't mean that Freeman isn't talented and/or he won't pan out, but it won't be simply because he has a "clear path" to playing time.
Edited by humpback

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If you guys are arguing with bfred and not willing to throw out any shred of intellectual honesty you have, then you only have yourself to blame.

Don't worry, they have.

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You're also way overstating "opportunity" IMO. Talent will create opportunity most times, and if you aren't very talented your opportunity isn't going to last long. This doesn't mean that Freeman isn't talented and/or he won't pan out, but it won't be simply because he has a "clear path" to playing time.

I think many times the difference between non-talent and talented guy is the opportunity. If you got the opportunity at least you can show you're talented.

There's many guys waiting to shine and it all depends on situation. Sproles comes to mind... waited in San Diego, was good during his last season there

and then got to show his stuff with Saints. You can't say Arian Foster was that good after the first season and Houston drafted Tate knowing how "good"

Foster was. It was not Fosters talent that made him what he was, it was the opportunity.

What comes to Freeman, I think he's talented enough with good opportunity and that's why I drafted him. This was long before this hype train left the station,

but because I got in the train when it was "free", I'm just gonna enjoy the free ride...

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All I know at this point is that ATL can't be pleased with their ROI with SJax. The situation there could be very fluid if the injuries linger...

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Watching Hard Knocks, Dimitroff makes a "nice depth" comment or something when Freeman is showing out in the preseason game. Just an edited snippet, but in that moment it didn't seem like he was counting down the days till Freeman starts over Jackson.

Edited by ConnSKINS26

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Watching Hard Knocks, Dimitroff makes a "nice depth" comment or something when Freeman is showing out in the preseason game. Just an edited snippet, but in that moment it didn't seem like he was counting down the days till Freeman starts over Jackson.

I'm sure Dimitroff was a big part of the reason SJax is in ATL. Writing off SJax when he's done basically nothing so far is not something he's going to do before he has to. He could think Freeman is going to be the best back in the league and he probably would have said the same thing.

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Watching Hard Knocks, Dimitroff makes a "nice depth" comment or something when Freeman is showing out in the preseason game. Just an edited snippet, but in that moment it didn't seem like he was counting down the days till Freeman starts over Jackson.

I'm sure Dimitroff was a big part of the reason SJax is in ATL. Writing off SJax when he's done basically nothing so far is not something he's going to do before he has to. He could think Freeman is going to be the best back in the league and he probably would have said the same thing.

I don't know, he also probably was a big part of Freeman being drafted there, he has no real reason to temper his enthusiasm.

Of course, NFL GM's are probably much better at not overreacting to preseason performances than we are.

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I made a comment earlier in this thread and caught heat for it from rabid Freeman owners who swore up and down Freeman was ready to take the starting job. I stand by my statements. It will take an SJax injury or a crappy season for Freeman to see significant carries. Period. I swear it seems like fantasy owners have been spoiled and have forgotten that these guys actually have to earn playing time. Just because YOU drafted him in the first round doesn't mean he has a clear path to playing time jus because he is the shiny new toy in the garage. This guy was drafted in the fourth round for a reason. Maybe he becomes the lead back in a timeshare sometime down the line. Maybe he becomes a three down starter. Maybe he is Quizz V.2. All I know is right now Steven Jackson is the starter. A good preseason stat line versus the twos isnt going to unseat a vet of Jackson's caliber. Especially with a team that has a track record of coveting vets. (See Tony Gonzalez who would still be a Falcon if he wasn't ready to hang them up and Roddy White who at age 32 just signed a four year deal). Just because WE don't value age and experience doesn't mean NFL coaches feel the same. As long as Sjax is able to get it going, he will be the back in that huddle. Injury and record are his only true competition in 2014 and injury looks to have the advantage. Pump the brakes on the Freeman hype though.

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An elite player with a great work ethic and good but not great measurables who slipped to the later rounds because he was in a timeshare with a good but not great player? If we are going with non running backs, i think Tom Brady is still the gold standard.

You play the lottery?

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I made a comment earlier in this thread and caught heat for it from rabid Freeman owners who swore up and down Freeman was ready to take the starting job. I stand by my statements. It will take an SJax injury or a crappy season for Freeman to see significant carries. Period. I swear it seems like fantasy owners have been spoiled and have forgotten that these guys actually have to earn playing time. Just because YOU drafted him in the first round doesn't mean he has a clear path to playing time jus because he is the shiny new toy in the garage. This guy was drafted in the fourth round for a reason. Maybe he becomes the lead back in a timeshare sometime down the line. Maybe he becomes a three down starter. Maybe he is Quizz V.2. All I know is right now Steven Jackson is the starter. A good preseason stat line versus the twos isnt going to unseat a vet of Jackson's caliber. Especially with a team that has a track record of coveting vets. (See Tony Gonzalez who would still be a Falcon if he wasn't ready to hang them up and Roddy White who at age 32 just signed a four year deal). Just because WE don't value age and experience doesn't mean NFL coaches feel the same. As long as Sjax is able to get it going, he will be the back in that huddle. Injury and record are his only true competition in 2014 and injury looks to have the advantage. Pump the brakes on the Freeman hype though.

:goodposting:

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You're also way overstating "opportunity" IMO. Talent will create opportunity most times, and if you aren't very talented your opportunity isn't going to last long. This doesn't mean that Freeman isn't talented and/or he won't pan out, but it won't be simply because he has a "clear path" to playing time.

I think many times the difference between non-talent and talented guy is the opportunity. If you got the opportunity at least you can show you're talented.

There's many guys waiting to shine and it all depends on situation. Sproles comes to mind... waited in San Diego, was good during his last season there

and then got to show his stuff with Saints. You can't say Arian Foster was that good after the first season and Houston drafted Tate knowing how "good"

Foster was. It was not Fosters talent that made him what he was, it was the opportunity.

What comes to Freeman, I think he's talented enough with good opportunity and that's why I drafted him. This was long before this hype train left the station,

but because I got in the train when it was "free", I'm just gonna enjoy the free ride...

I disagree. A RB's talent really has nothing to do with his opportunity. People seem to forget that these guys practice a lot, sometimes twice per day- they have plenty of opportunities to show just how talented they are. Sure, once in a while you're going to get a very talented RB who gets stuck behind an even more talented guy, but that's pretty rare and doesn't usually last that long- there aren't many back up RBs in the NFL who are better than the starters on a lot of the other teams. The bottom line is that if a player isn't very good, his opportunity won't last very long- they'll try and replace him with someone who is.

I have no problem with your last paragraph- I've said several times that I'm not saying that Freeman isn't talented, just that if it turns out that he isn't, his opportunity won't matter because it'll disappear pretty quickly.

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what's the status of SJax?

Word is he took part in some agility drills recently. We almost certainly won't see him during preseason action so this is the kind of situation that won't shake itself out until the regular season actually begins. Right now SJax and Freeman have similar (8th round) ADPs.

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what's the status of SJax?

Word is he took part in some agility drills recently. We almost certainly won't see him during preseason action so this is the kind of situation that won't shake itself out until the regular season actually begins. Right now SJax and Freeman have similar (8th round) ADPs.

Give me Sjax all day at that price. Even if Jackson stays hurt/gets hurt again, Freeman is not guaranteed any kind of large role.

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Yeah, I think draft status can lead to opportunity, talent can lead to opportunity, or injury can lead to opportunity. I would also distinguish talent (sjax is plenty talented) from underperformance (he wasn't that great at the start of the season).

So there are several paths to starting carries for Freeman. Obviously, SJax could get injures (he's already hurt after all). Freeman doesn't have to be all world to get an increased workload if sjax struggles early. He may be the "heir apparent" drafted as the lead back of the future. And of course he may actually be really good.

I do agree that there's a very real bust risk where he might never start an nfl game. That's an enormous risk. And there's also a chance he starts intermittently but they draft someone else next year. But the upside is that he gets the job and keeps it. I believe that's a very valuable job to have, and I think he's got first crack at it.

As for his talent, I don't think he's elite, but I think he's good and I love his work ethic. I think this draft was deep with mid tier rb options and he is capable of doing all the good things that earn fantasy points. I think people have mischaracterized my stance as though I think he's a sure thing or that I'm not at all concerned by his fourth round selection. I recognize the risk but have laid out the reasons I'm comfortable with it. He's a swing for the fences in dynasty, but the upside is high enough that I think he's worth a late first.

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what's the status of SJax?

Word is he took part in some agility drills recently. We almost certainly won't see him during preseason action so this is the kind of situation that won't shake itself out until the regular season actually begins. Right now SJax and Freeman have similar (8th round) ADPs.

I was starting to look at Freeman a little closer but if their ADPs are similar I'm definitely grabbing SJax as my #3RB. They'll have a good offense, when he's playing he'll be the goal line back, he's a good blocker, can catch out of the backfield. He's not the type of guy I usually grab but his price is just too good. Hell, look at the year's that Turner had in this offense....if you can get something close to that even for 1/2 a season from an 8th rounder....I'm in.

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Yeah, I think draft status can lead to opportunity, talent can lead to opportunity, or injury can lead to opportunity. I would also distinguish talent (sjax is plenty talented) from underperformance (he wasn't that great at the start of the season).

So there are several paths to starting carries for Freeman. Obviously, SJax could get injures (he's already hurt after all). Freeman doesn't have to be all world to get an increased workload if sjax struggles early. He may be the "heir apparent" drafted as the lead back of the future. And of course he may actually be really good.

I do agree that there's a very real bust risk where he might never start an nfl game. That's an enormous risk. And there's also a chance he starts intermittently but they draft someone else next year. But the upside is that he gets the job and keeps it. I believe that's a very valuable job to have, and I think he's got first crack at it.

As for his talent, I don't think he's elite, but I think he's good and I love his work ethic. I think this draft was deep with mid tier rb options and he is capable of doing all the good things that earn fantasy points. I think people have mischaracterized my stance as though I think he's a sure thing or that I'm not at all concerned by his fourth round selection. I recognize the risk but have laid out the reasons I'm comfortable with it. He's a swing for the fences in dynasty, but the upside is high enough that I think he's worth a late first.

Jackson played real well after he healed up from the hamstring injury. He and Roddy got healthy about the same time late in the year and both were really good fantasy options. From week 12 on, here were his standard scoring points in each game: 14, 20, 8, 16, 11, 9. That is 13 ppg which if he could stay healthy nets him a spot as a top 12 RB. His yards per carry weren't very good, but he was scoring a lot of TDs which is why he could easily be like Turner was in 2012. Turner was terrible in 2012, but he scored 11 TDs and finished as RB17.

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are we sleeping on J.Rodgers here ?

to me, he had every opportunity in the world last year and did very little. I think that potential ship has sailed and Freeman would likely get the shot if SJax went down again.

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